Chet Atkins – Down Home (1962)

FrontCover1Down Home is a recording by American guitarist Chet Atkins.Down Home is a recording by American guitarist Chet Atkins.
After releasing the smooth pop and easy listening albums Chet Atkins’ Workshop and The Most Popular Guitar, Chet returned to his roots with Down Home. The album peaked at No. 31 and returned Atkins to the Top 40. It includes two of Chet’s signature tunes, “Windy and Warm” and “Trambone”. (by wikipedia)

After the commercial success of Chet Atkins’ 12th 12″ LP, Chet Atkins’ Workshop, which peaked in the pop Top Ten in 1961, RCA Victor Records decided to turn the country guitarist into an easy listening bandleader à la Ray Conniff on his next release, The Most Popular Guitar. But that LP didn’t come close to the sales of its predecessor, and after a holiday collection (Christmas With Chet Atkins) at the end of the year, RCA opted to let Atkins do what he wanted again. Hence, his 15th long-player, Down Home. The contrast from his previous secular release couldn’t have been more dramatic. The scantily clad lass with the come-hither smile on the cover of The Most Popular Guitar was replaced by a front-porch-swing shot of Atkins himself, guitar in hand, a vintage car in the background, and a faithful dog at his feet.

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And the strings that dominated The Most Popular Guitar were replaced by Atkins’ free-picking studio regulars, supporting him on a varied collection that never strayed far in the arrangements from an old-time country feeling, even when a saxophone intruded here and there. “Salty Dog Rag,” the leadoff track, was not the kind of material you’d have heard on The Most Popular Guitar, but it was no doubt closer to Atkins’ taste. The rest of the album, while mixing in a current movie theme (“Never on Sunday”) and a swing era classic (“Tuxedo Junction”), kept doubling back to country styles. And — what do you know? — Down Home outpolled The Most Popular Guitar by 88 places in the Billboard LP charts, returning him to the Top 40, which seemed to indicate that when you let Atkins do what he liked, his fans probably would like it too. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Chet Atkins (guitar)
Floyd Cramer (piano)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Morris Palmer (drums)
Boots Randolph (saxophone)
Velma Smith (guitar)
Henry Strzelecki (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Salty Dog Rag (Crows/Gordy) 2.11
02. I Am A Pilgrim (Travis) 3.07
03. Trambone (Atkins) 2.21
04. Steel Guitar Rag (McAuliffe) 2.04
05. Little Feet (Atkins) 2.32
06. Blue Steel Blues (Daffan) 2.21
07. Windy And Warm (Loudermilk) – 2:26
08. I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow (Atkins/Louvin) 2.37
09. Never On Sunday” (Manos Hadjidakis, Billy Towne) – 3:01    “The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish” (Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren) – 2:15    “Give the World a Smile” (Otis Deaton, Marshall Yandell) – 2:04    “Tuxedo Junction” (Buddy Feyne, Erskine Hawkins) – 2:07

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Bobby Bare – Folsom Prison Blues (1968)

FrontCover1.JPGBobby Bare (born Robert Joseph Bare on April 7, 1935 in Ironton, Ohio) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He is the father of Bobby Bare, Jr., also a musician. Bare had many failed attempts to sell his songs in the 1950s. He finally signed with Capitol Records and recorded a few rock and roll songs without much chart success. Just before he was drafted into the Army, he wrote a song called “The All American Boy” and did a demo for his friend, Bill Parsons, to learn and record. Instead of using the version Bill Parsons did later, the record company, Fraternity Records, decided to use the original demo done by Bobby Bare. The record reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but they made an error: the singles’ labels all credited the artist as being “Bill Parsons. From 1983 to 1988, Bobby hosted Bobby Bare and Friends on The Nashville Network which featured Bobby interviewing songwriters who sang their hit songs on the show.

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In 1985, Bobby signed with EMI America Records where he scored 3 charted singles, but none of these reached the upper regions of the charts. In 1998, he formed the band, Old Dogs, with his friends Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis and Waylon Jennings. In nearly 50 years of making music, Bobby has made many firsts in country music. Bare is credited for introducing Waylon Jennings to RCA. He is also one of the first to record from many well- known song writers such as Jack Clement, Harlan Howard, Billy Joe Shaver, Mickey Newbury, Tom T. Hall, Shel Silverstein, Baxter Taylor and Kris Kristofferson. In 2006, he recorded a new album after over 20 years, called The Moon Was Blue,produced by his son. He continues to tour today. (by tjscountry.forumotion.com)

This album,from ’68 reveal the restless creativity and refusal to walk the straight country-music line that defined the career of Bobby Bare. He puts his own touch on Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind ; Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues ; Bobby Goldsboro’s Autumn of My Life.

If you like this mellow country music … you should listen !

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Personnel:
Bobby Bare (vocals, huitar)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Folsom Prison Blues (Cash) 2.50
02. Autumn Of My Life (Goldsboro) 3.30
03. Abilene (Gibson/Loudermilk/Brown) 2.13
04. Blowin’ In The Wind (Dylan) 2.57
05. Lemon Tree (Holt) 2.20
06. Try To Remember (Schmidt/Jones) 2.24
07. Silence Is Golden (Brown, Jr.) 2.28
08. Gotta Travel On (Lazar/Ehrlich/Clayton/Six) 2.13
09. When Am I Ever Gonna Settle Down (Large/Lomax) 2.41
10. No Sad Songs For Me (Springfield) 2.24

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Bill Grant & Delia Bell – In England (1980)

FrontCover1Bill Grant and Delia Bell are a bluegrass music duo from Oklahoma. Emmylou Harris has said of Delia Bell: “If Hank Williams and Kitty Wells had married and had a daughter, she would have sounded like Delia Bell.” Grant has been recognized as “Ambassador of Bluegrass Music” by three Oklahoma

Delia Bell was born Delia Nowell on 16 April 16, 1938 in Bonham, Texas. Bell moved to Hugo as a child. She started playing music with her sisters and brother as a child, and began singing in her teens. She married Bobby Bell in 1959.

Bill Grant was born Billy Joe Grant on May 9, 1930, a Choctaw tribal member, and grew up on a ranch near Hugo, Oklahoma. Inspired by the music of Bill Monroe, he took up mandolin.

In 1959, Bell began singing with Bobby’s friend Bill Grant. Bell accompanied herself on guitar, and Bill Grant played mandolin, and Bell sang tenor to Grant’s lead. In 1960, Bell and Grant were regulars on the Little Dixie Hayride radio show on KIHN radio.

When Bill Monroe heard them perform, he invited them to perform at his festivals in Bean Blossom, Indiana. This introduced the duo to a wider audience.

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In the late 1960s, Grant and Bell formed the Kiamichi Mountain Boys (also known as the Bonham Brothers), named after the Kiamichi Mountains near their home.

They recorded more than a dozen albums for their own label Kiamichi Records as well as albums on County Records, Rebel Records, Rounder Records, and Warner Brothers. They toured England and Ireland 11 times during the 1970s.

The Kiamichi Mountain Boys were disbanded in 1980. After that, Grant and Bell worked either worked with the Johnson Mountain Boys or as a mandolin/guitar duo.

Emmylou Harris picked up Bell’s solo album Bluer Than Midnight at a California record shop. Impressed by Bell’s version of Ruth Franks’ song “Roses In The Snow,” Harris recorded it as the title track of her 1980 bluegrass album. In 1982, Harris produced Bell’s self-titled solo album on Warner Bros. Records. One of the songs, “Flame in My Heart,” was a duet with John Anderson. The album reached #35 on the Billboard charts, but Warner Bros. dropped her and others artists from their roster.

During the 1980s, Bell and Grant recorded three albums for Rounder featuring accompaniment and harmonies by members of the Johnson Mountain Boys and Del McCoury. The 1989 album Dreaming collected songs from their Rounder albums.

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Bell and Grant continued to perform as a duo until 2006 when their partnership ended. Grant was diagnosed with a brain tumor which was successfully removed, and he recovered succeefully. In 2007, Grant would began singing on a limited basis with his stepdaughter Amy Patrick.

In 2006, Grant received the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement award.

Grant and Bell have each been recognized as a Pioneer of Bluegrass Music by the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Grant was also inducted in to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

From 1969 until 2003, Grant hosted Grant’s Bluegrass Festival on a 360-acre cattle ranch near Hugo. He named the festival site “Salt Creek Park.”

In 1987, Bell and Grant also launched a March Early Bird Bluegrass Show, which was staged annually for almost 20 years (by wikipedia)

And here´s a fine example of their music. Great Bluesgrass and Country Music … full with a lot of sentimental tunes, including a Sundown In Nashville  …

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Personnel:
Delia Bell (guitar, vocals)
Karl Benson (bass)
Bill Grant (vocals, mandolin)
Dave Nutt (guitar, steel-guitar)
Bob Pearce (drums, percussion)
Dave Sheriff (piano, harmonica, guitar)
Drew Taylor (fiddle.mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. I Know You’re Married 2.28
02. Blue Kentucky Girl 2.38
03. Good Hearted Woman 3.44
04. Troubles 3.03
05. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke 2.33
06. You Win Again 2.22
07. Best Female Actress 2.21
08. When My Time Comes To Go  1.46
09. Crazy Arms 2.24
10. Nothing Can Blow Out The Flame 2.26
11. Stranger In My Home 2.26
12. Don’t Worry 3.17
13. Come Walk With Me 2.34
14. Sundown In Nashville 2.32
15. We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds 2.10
16. I Know The Time Is Near For Me 2.35

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Jim Reeves – Gentleman Jim (1963)

FrontCover1James Travis Reeves (August 20, 1923 – July 31, 1964) was an American country and popular music singer-songwriter. With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well known as a practitioner of the Nashville sound (a mixture of older country-style music with elements of popular music). Known as “Gentleman Jim”, his songs continued to chart for years after his death. Reeves died in the crash of his private airplane. He is a member of both the Country Music and Texas Country Music Halls of Fame. /by wikipedia)

Sweet memories:
My dad had this LP record back in the early 60’s and I recall watching my parents dance to his music. As I got older I fell in love with his music and at one time I owned over 100 of his LP’s… I only have a handful left as I had to let my collection go. But this album was my all time favorite as it has my all time favorite love song… “I’d Fight the World.”  (by Ron G.)

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Personnel:
Willy Ackerman (drums)neer
Floyd Cramer (piano)
Marvin Hughes (vibraphone)
Leo Jackson (lead guitar)
Jim Reeves )vocals)
Velma Smith (guitar)
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background vocals:
The Anita Kerr Singers

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Tracklist:
01. Memories Are Made Of This (Miller/Dehr/Gilkyson) 2.14
02. Roses Are Red (My Love) (Byron/Evans) 2.47
03. After Loving You (Miller) 1.55
04.  Stand In (Robertson/Blair) 2.09
05.  Waltzing On Top Of The World (Courtney) 2.21
06. When You Are Gone (Manuel/Reeves) 2.52
07.  Just Out Of Reach (Stewart) 2.46
08.  I Love You Because (Payne) 2.42
09. I’d Fight The World (Cochran/Allison) 2,48
10. The One That Got Away (Killen/Reeves) 2.29
11. Once Upon A Time (Killen/Reeves) 2.11
12. I Never Pass There Anymore (Howard) 2.19

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Shannon McNally – Small Town Talk (Songs Of Bobby Charles) (2013)

FrontCover1Here´s a wonderful tribute album to the great Bobby Charles:

Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010), known as Bobby Charles, was an American singer-songwriter.

An ethnic Cajun, Charles was born in Abbeville, Louisiana, and grew up listening to Cajun music and the country and western music of Hank Williams. At the age of 15, he heard a performance by Fats Domino, an event that “changed my life forever,” he recalled.

Charles helped to pioneer the south Louisiana musical genre known as swamp pop. His compositions include the hits “See You Later, Alligator”, which he initially recorded himself as “Later Alligator”, but which is best known from the cover version by Bill Haley & His Comets, and “Walking to New Orleans” and “It Keeps Rainin'”, written for Fats Domino.

“(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do” was an early 1960s song that Charles composed, which Clarence “Frogman” Henry had a major hit with, and which was on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Forrest Gump. His composition “Why Are People Like That?” was on the soundtrack of the 1998 film Home Fries.

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Because of his south Louisiana–influenced rhythm and blues vocal style, Charles has sometimes been thought to be black, when in fact he was white.

Charles was invited to play with the Band at their November 26, 1976, farewell concert, The Last Waltz, at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. In the concert, Charles played “Down South in New Orleans”, with the help of Dr. John and the Band. That song was recorded and released as part of the triple-LP The Last Waltz box set. The performance was also captured on film by director Martin Scorsese, but did not appear in the final, released theatrical version. Charles did, however, appear briefly in a segment of the released film—in the concert’s final song, “I Shall Be Released”. In that segment, his image is largely blocked from view during the performance. That song, sung by Bob Dylan and pianist Richard Manuel, featured backup vocals from the entire ensemble, including Charles.

He co-wrote the song “Small Town Talk” with Rick Danko of the Band. “Promises, Promises (The Truth Will Set You Free)” was co-written with Willie Nelson.

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Charles continued to compose and record (he was based out of Woodstock, New York, for a time) and in the 1990s he recorded a duet of “Walking to New Orleans” with Domino.

In September 2007, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame honored Charles for his contributions to Louisiana music with an induction.
Death

Charles collapsed in his home near Abbeville and died on January 14, 2010. (by wikipedia)

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I don’t like to use the word perfection around music, because life’s beauty is often expressed with imperfection. But for lack of a better vocabulary I have to say this is about as perfect a record as I’ve ever heard. If you enjoy the New Orleans sound – casual and laid-back but at the same time never too casual in terms of musicianship – you may agree with me that this rates album of the year. The songs of Bobby Charles are extraordinary and his mastery has been celebrated for decades. The arrangements with production from Dr. John and Shannon McNally are spot-on, playful, intricate without being obvious, and ideal for these tunes.

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The musicianship, well it doesn’t get any better. Shannon McNally contributes a voice and interpretative gift that was born to sing these songs. Once in a blue moon somebody will make a record that perfectly encapsulates a mood and a feeling, where all the songs stack up just right. I’m thinking, for example, of Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, the Stones Exile on Main Street. Small Town Talk does that as well as any record I’ve ever heard – including those just mentioned. This record won’t be for everyone’s taste, mind you. But for those with whom it resonates it might just break your heart, make you laugh, blow your mind, and touch your soul. They say the way to tell if a pot of rice is cooked is to test one grain. So I suggest you listen to a tune or two off of this album. If you like what you discover, you’ll likely love this record. (by Constant Traveler)

In spite of not attaining his initial goal of becoming a successful singer Bobby Charles leaves behind a really rich legacy of timeless pop songs which are still being recorded, and performed today. As a testament to this legacy, have a listen to Shannon McNally’s tribute album, Small Town Talk: (Songs of Bobby Charles) … you’ll love it!

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Personnel:
David Barard (bass)
Alonzo Bowens (saxophone)
Natalia Cascante (violin)
Herman V. Ernest III (drums, percussion)
John Fohl (guitar)
Helen Gillet (cello)
Harry Hardin (violin)
Lauren Lemmler (viola)
Shannon McNally (vocals, guitar on 06.)
Charlie Miller (flute, trumpet)
Jason Mingledorff (saxophone)
Mac Rebennack (keyboards, background vocals)
Ken “Afro” Williams (percussion)
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Luther Dickinson (guitar on 02.)
Vince Gill (vocals on 03., guiar on 10.)
Will Sexton (guitar on 06.)
Derek Trucks (guitar on 05.)
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The Lower 911 Band (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Street People (Charles) 3.15
02. Can’t Pin A Color (Charles) 3.17
03. String Of Hearts (Charles) 3.53
04. I Spend All My Money (Charles) 2.55
05. Cowboys And Indians (Charles) 4.07
06. Homemade Songs (Charles) 4.11
07. Long Face (Charles) 3.24
08. Small Town Talk (Charles/Danko) 4.07
09. I Don’t Want To Know (Charles) 4.03
10. But I Do (Charles/Gayten) 4.08
11. Love In The Worst Degree (Charles) 3.07
12. Save Me Jesus (Charles) 3.38
13. Smile (So Glad) (Charles) 3.18
14. I Must Be In A Good Place Now (Charles) 3.37

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Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010)

Willie Nelson – Stardust (1978)

FrontCover1Stardust is the 23rd studio album by Willie Nelson that spans the genres of pop, jazz, and country music. Its ten songs consist entirely of pop standards that Nelson picked from among his favorites. Nelson asked Booker T. Jones, who was his neighbor in Malibu at the time, to arrange a version of “Moonlight in Vermont”. Impressed with Jones’s work, Nelson asked him to produce the entire album. Nelson’s decision to record such well-known tracks was controversial among Columbia executives because he had distinguished himself in the outlaw country genre. Recording of the album took only ten days.

Released in April, Stardust was met with high sales and near-universal positive reviews. It peaked at number one in Billboard’s Top Country Albums and number thirty in the Billboard 200. Meanwhile, it charted at number one in Canadian RPM’s Country Albums and number twenty-eight in RPM’s Top Albums. The singles “Blue Skies” and “All of Me” peaked respectively at numbers one and three in Billboard’s Hot Country Singles.

In 1979, Nelson won a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for the song “Georgia on My Mind”. Stardust was on the Billboard’s Country Album charts for ten years—from its release until 1988. The album also reached number one in New WillieNelsonZealand and number five in Australia in 1980. In 2003, the album was ranked number 257 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was originally certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in December 1978. In 1984, when it was certified triple platinum, Nelson was the highest-grossing concert act in the United States. In 2002, the album was certified quintuple platinum, and it was later inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame class of 2015. (by wikipedia)

At the height of outlaw country, Willie Nelson pulled off perhaps the riskiest move of the entire bunch. He set aside originals, country, and folk and recorded Stardust, a collection of pop standards produced by Booker T. Jones. Well, it’s not entirely accurate to say that he put away country and folk, since these are highly idiosyncratic interpretations of “Georgia on My Mind,” “All of Me,” “Moonlight in Vermont,” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” blending pop, country, jazz, and folk in equal measures. It’s not that Willie makes these songs his own, it’s that he reimagines these songs in a way that nobody else could, and with his trusty touring band, he makes these versions indelible.

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It may be strange to think that this album, containing no originals from one of America’s greatest songwriters, is what made him a star, and it continues to be one of his most beloved records, but it’s appropriate, actually. Stardust showcases Nelson’s skills as a musician and his entire aesthetic — where there is nothing separating classic American musical forms, it can all be played together — perhaps better than any other album, which is why it was a sensation upon its release and grows stronger with each passing year. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Paul English (drums)
Chris Ethridge (bass)
Booker T. Jones (keyboards)
Rex Ludwick (drums)
Bobbie Nelson (piano)
Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar)
Jody Payne (guitar)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica)
Bee Spears (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. “Stardust (Carmichael/Parish) 3.53
02. Georgia On My Mind (Carmichael/Gorrell) 4.20
03. Blue Skies (Berlin) 3.34
04. All Of Me (Simons/Marks) 3.54
05. Unchained Melody (North/Zaret) 3.50
06. September Song (Weill/Anderson) 4-35
07. On The Sunny Side Of The Street (McHugh/Fields) 2.36
08. Moonlight In Vermont (Suessdorf/Blackburn) 3.25
09. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington/Russell) 2.33
10. Someone To Watch Over Me (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 4.03
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11. Scarlet Ribbons (Danzig/Segal) 4.30
12. I Can See Clearly Now (Nash)  4.18

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Sammy Davis Jr. – Closest Of Friends (1982)

FrontCover1Sammy Davis Jr. goes Country:

In 1982, Sammy Davis, Jr. made the musical move to Nashville. Perhaps the last place you would expect the diminutive wonder to turn up, but he cut ten songs there for the Applause label and the Closest of Friends album was the result. The songs assembled for Davis to sing come from some of the finest writers the town had to offer (“Oh Lonesome Me” by Don Gibson, “Come Sundown” and “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” by Kris Kristofferson, “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)” by Tex Williams and Merle Travis) and while the aging Sammy did what he could vocally, the wooden arrangements and pedestrian playing really bring the album down. The best of the songs, like Sammy’s light bounce through “Hey, Won’t You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song)” and his knowing take on “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)” (which contains the cruelly foreshadowing lyric “I’ve smoked ’em all my life and I ain’t dead yet”) are miles away from his best work and have only the slightest glimmer of what made Davis so spectacular in his prime. Only a true Davis fanatic would ever want to hear these songs. It was one of his last forays into a recording studio and should probably just be forgotten. Unfortunately, it is one of the few Davis sessions that turns up time and time again on cheap reissue labels, often with mis-leading titles and cover shots. (by Tim Sendra)

But:

You normally wouldn’t think of Country music and Sammy Davis Jr going together, but they do! As a long time country fan, I recommend this album. He does justice to the fine selection of songs and actually went on Hee Haw to promote it! Jimmy Capps of the Grand Ole Opry staff band plays guitar along with Billy Sanford. The album was produced by Larry Butler. (by Hank Will)

This is a very sentimental trip … including two songs by the great Kris Kristofferson !

Alternate front+back cover from Venezuela:
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Personnel:
Larry Butler (piano)
James Capps (guitar)
Jerry Carrigan (drums)
Steve Chapman (guitar)
Sammy Davis Jr. (vocals)
Ray Edenton (guitar)
Bob Moore (bass)
Leon Rhodes (bass)
Hargus Robbins (piano)
Billy Sanford (guitar)
Jerry Shook (guitar)
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Sheldon Kurland Strings
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background vocals:
James Cason – Don Gant – Diane Fidwell – Bergen White – Lisa Silver – Sheryln Hoffman

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Tracklist:
01. What I’ve Got In Mind (O´Dell) 2.49
02. Come Sundown (Kristofferson) 3.24
03. Mention A Mansion (Hupp/Morrison) 2.22
04. You’re Gonna Love Yourself (In The Morning) (Fritts) 3.07
05. Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) (Travis/Williams) 3.03
06. Oh Lonesome Me (Gibson) 2.24
07. We Could Have Been Closest Of Friends (Pippin/Slade) 3.15
08. Hey Won’t You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song) (Butler/Moman) 3.22
09. Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends (Kristofferson) 3.26
10. The River’s Too Wide (Morrison) 2.43

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This is another item from the great greygoose record collection.
Thanks a lot !